The latest drought monitor released Thursday by the National Climatic Data Center shows conditions worsening for Central Arkansas.

Faulkner County, once only partially contained inside the most intensely rated drought zone, is now covered by the D4 rating which applies to areas of "exceptional" dryness.

According to the report, 33.64 percent of Arkansas is in the exceptional range, up from 3.25 percent reported earlier this month.

More than 75.94 percent of the state is in an extreme drought. All of the state is listed as severe, moderate or dry.

The National Weather Service of Little Rock has recorded 17 days at or above 100 degrees this year for central Arkansas.

The average for the area is five days per year, according to senior meteorologist Marty Trexler.

Trexler said a little relief is possible for Faulkner County on Friday as a front moves south.

"Unfortunately that system will weaken as it moves down, and it’s a short one because we’re back to the 100s on Saturday. We’ll maintain that for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and on into next week," he said.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)